Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE: SPCE) shares traded 14.2% lower at $20.65 in after-hours trading on Thursday after closing 0.5% higher in the regular session.
What Happened: The Richard Branson-led space exploration company said it was delaying the start of its commercial space tourism service to the fourth quarter of 2022.
Flight test program update: We will begin our planned vehicle enhancement and modification period now, which is designed to improve performance and flight-rate capability for VMS Eve and VSS Unity. #Unity23 will take place upon its completion. Read more; https://t.co/oWC52MypkH pic.twitter.com/oVuJOobNMm
— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) October 14, 2021
The space tourism company said it would not conduct any Unity 23 test flight this year.
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had last month banned Virgin Galactic from flying its rocket plane to space, pending completion of an inquiry; the investigation was closed in nearly three weeks, lifting the grounding order.
Virgin Galactic was earlier planning a second spaceflight for Unity 23 in mid-October.
The company on Thursday said it would now begin its planned enhancement program first and conduct the Unity 23 test flight only after this work is complete and before starting commercial service.
The enhancement program is designed to improve vehicle performance and flight-rate capability for VMS Eve and VSS Unity, Virgin Galactic said.
Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Foust via Wikimedia
© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.